Are the Chicago Blackhawks at a disadvantage playing the Edmonton Oilers in their building?
The Chicago Blackhawks are getting ready for an incredibly difficult series against the Edmonton Oilers. They are being given a shot to play in a playoff series because of the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the season. They were the last Western Conference team to receive an invite to the return to play Stanley Cup Playoffs tournament so this is like a second wind. Well, due to the virus and its restrictions, the league is playing the games in two hub cities.
They created a bubble in Edmonton and Toronto. The West teams are in Edmonton and the East teams are in Toronto. That means the Oilers get to play in this series (and potentially beyond) on home ice. Is that creating a noticeable disadvantage for the Blackhawks as they try to take them down? A lot of people might believe it is but that isn’t likely the case.
The home-ice thing is nice for the playoffs in a year where a global pandemic doesn’t keep fans out of the building. In this strange year, however, the designated home team will have the advantage in the face-off dots and the last change but that will vary based on seeding and which game in the series it is. There will be no fans supporting one team at any point. It is just the players and each of the coaching staff.
Of course, they are going to be in a familiar building and locker room. They are also going to be playing in their home barn. If there are any lively boards or little advantages like that then maybe they could benefit but it shouldn’t make that much of a difference in the series. If the Oilers beat the Hawks, it is because they were the far superior team.
This is a big opportunity for the Hawks to win a play-in series and be a part of the first round. They need their star players to outshine Edmonton’s top players and they are going to have to do it in the Oilers home building. It is a tough task but this is definitely going to be fun to watch.